1. This past week saw ... The Hudson Sidewalk Sale! Lots of people, some elbow-swinging at the popular venues (e.g., the Grey Colt), some anxiety on my part: Will I get my table at the coffee shop?
2. And suddenly I have a sore left knee, the same one I damaged hiking the Chilkoot Pass back in '93. That knee has flared over the years, then has gone back to sleep for a while. Once--about ten years ago--I actually was scheduled for knee surgery. Then ... Bell's palsy arrived. They gave me a strong steroid (thus my still-muscular physique), which killed the inflammation and pain in my knee. I canceled the surgery and have not had a problem until this week. I think I know what happened: I tripped on a throw rug in my study. Not exactly Chilkoot-ian, but it did the trick. We'll see what happens ...
3. This has been a week of backsliding, diet-wise. We hit Stoddard's Frozen Custard; we bought bags of blue corn chips ("no salt added"); we bought a massive bag of vanilla-almond granola. I say "we" in all those clauses. That's the right person for the pronoun--but not the right number. Shame on ... "us."
|Garner as Jim Rockford|
4. And--best of all--today is the birthday of Joyce Ann Coyne, who on December 20, 1969, somehow stood in Concordia Lutheran Church in Akron and spoke her wedding vows ... to me. I had met Joyce (officially) only a few days before her birthday in 1969. We were in the same summer school class at KSU, but I had merely admired from afar for most of the weeks of the course. Our second date was her birthday dinner. Her parents took us to Iacomini's in Akron (I had prime rib, thank you--well, thank Mr. Coyne, who picked up the tab), and I must have worried her parents. I was wearing a new sport coat and slacks from Richman Bros.; the coat was electric blue; the pants were blue-and-white check. I thought I looked sophisticated (I was 24), but I must have looked like something far different to her family. If I saw someone dressed like that walk in the room right now, I'd laugh ... and then call 911.
|the restaurant--I think we were at the table|
in the lower left corner
I was very nervous that birthday dinner day, July 20, 1969. I so much wanted Joyce and her family to like me. (And I was still in that daze all young men in love feel: I think she likes me! ... WHY?) I don't remember much about the meal except this: Joyce accidentally spilled some sugar on my baked potato, and I quipped, If I'd wanted a sweet potato, I would have ordered one. People laughed. Whew.
Last night we celebrated by going to the Anatolia Cafe in Cleveland Heights, then over to the Cedar-Lee to see the film Belle.
I often think about the near-impossibility of our ever even meeting, much less ending up together for more than forty-five years now. I will give her some gifts later today ... but, as always, I know that she is the greatest gift of all.